"Scabs" - page 2

Why do nurses take these assignments???? Especially in this day and age when most strikes are about benefit levels, staffing ratios, working conditions???... Read More

  1. by   nightingale
    According to Websters, online version(a portion has been quoted):

    a worker who refuses to join a labor union (2) : a union member who refuses to strike or returns to work before a strike has ended (3) : a worker who accepts employment or replaces a union worker during a strike (4) : one who works for less than union wages or on nonunion terms.

    It is business. Business for the Unions who ultimately do the bargaining, business for Management (who know in advance what the terms are that they will agree to), and business for the replacement companies who provide the staffing. Nurses ultimately win for they do the bargaining and choose their representatives: Nurses who do the Strike Staffing work very hard for their money and gain accordingly.

    I grew up in the NorthEast, where Unions were strong. Unions have had their day and grow weaker with each decade. I have represented the membership (nonnursing) and fought for, what I thought was right at the time, I can and do see both sides. It is business.
    Last edit by nightingale on Oct 4, '06
  2. by   NRSKarenRN
    If there were no such thing as strike replacement workers, wouldn't management have to bargain with union ahead of time ??
  3. by   Stella-Ohio
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I understand this. I normally debate the issues.

    But, knowing all this, I'm still not sure I would personally offend those strikers, even as I know that their sensibilities are misplaced.

    I'm not sure I would either. I would make that decision if/when it comes up. I too am not opposed to those workers and strongly feel they are not acting against the unions.

    Thanks for posting that about insurance companies......agree with that one also
  4. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    If there were no such thing as strike replacement workers, wouldn't management have to bargain with union ahead of time ??
    NO, they would simply move their patients out and close down during a strike. Ultimately, that costs LESS money to do so. Without the concern - even if it is just the monetary concern of reputation - for inpatients, those hospitals would be free to wait it out for long periods of time.

    IF patients weren't at issue, such strikes could last for months. And the hospital would always have the power to simply outwait strikers. After all, the 'shareholders' will understand that a complete standstill for a time is just the cost of doing business.

    Hospitals are based on location more than non-locational demands. As such, they do not lose significant business 'share' by waiting out a strike, unless they provide substandard care. And no matter how well a replacement worker does the job, the whole operation cannot measure up to the 'standard' of a full compliment of staff.

    But, that same reputation means that they can't just close down if other options are available. After all, the claim to fame for most hospitals is serving the communities they are located in.

    As a result, the hospitals are FORCED to use replacement workers. And that comes at a premium cost. And it keeps the patients in-house which keeps the concerns for reputations at the forefront of discussions and/or concerns.

    From a reputation perspective, hospitals are 'danged if they do, danged if they don't'. And that is not a bad place from which to negotiate from - if you are the union.

    The WORST nightmare for a nurses' strike would be a completely closed down facility without the immediate patient concerns to come to the table. Such a facility would ALWAYS be able to outwait the strikers.

    Replacement nurses keep those issues at the forefront, and puts pressure on hospitals to return to 'standard' staffing. As such, while replacement nurses benefit from desperate employers, they do NOT do so at the expense of strikers. Far from it, they keep the striker's concerns on the fire by making the hospital's reputation a continuing concern.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Oct 7, '06
  5. by   nightingale
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    If there were no such thing as strike replacement workers, wouldn't management have to bargain with union ahead of time ??
    And they do, both sides know what their minimum agreement would be.
  6. by   sra27
    Quote from Mimi2RN
    Did the strike in Petoski MI ever get settled? We had a traveller that worked ther for 8 months or so, last I heard it was 3 years. That's a strange way to run a hospital.
    The Petoskey, MI strike was an embarressment for everyone involved. It broke a national record as the longest running nurses' strike in US history. ( I attended nursing school at the college in Petoskey, about the same time the strike started so I know a LOT about it, unfortunately.)

    There were pros and cons on both sides. With such a small community, everybody knew everybody. I had friends on both sides of the picket line. I tended to stay neutral and not give my opinion about anything to do with the strike. Luckily the college was able to reschedule our clinicals at different facilities.

    Eventually it sorta "fizzled out" and the few striking nurses still remaining (by this point most people moved on and found different jobs) voted out the teamsters and finally agreed to a contract, although the details were never made public.
  7. by   Michellex1013
    "Because they do not know better. When I worked with the travel company known as the "Evil Empire", they were notorious for getting travelers stuck contracted to facilities w/impending strikes without warning the traveler, before they took the contract."

    I am brand new to travel nursing. I believe the contract I'm about to start is a facility that has stiked. My recruiter said NOTHING about this. I read in their local paper the stike was resolved the day after I accepted the job. Also, I was offered a job without a interview. This didn't send off red flags until I started reading these post about never accepting a job without an interview. hrm.. now I am worried about traveling 1800 miles a way.

  8. by   caliotter3
    Have you ever gone into a restaurant or a grocery store and attempted to buy food with your good looks? Have you tried to buy shelter for yourself and your children for the night with your good looks? Yeah. You know why most of us will willingly and with enthusiasm cross a picket line even in healthcare.
  9. by   caliotter3
    Have you ever offered to go down on your knees (literally) to beg for a job? Yeah. Labor unions. What a joke. Why can't I laugh?
  10. by   kuntrinurse
    There are some good things and some bad things about a union. The nurese/patient ratio is one of the things that is controlled if you are unionized. Come to think of it, I really don't see a whole lot wrong with unions. Personally, I wouldnt cross a picket line. If your contract conviently left out the fact that the facility and nurses were in negotiations over their contract then you are not bound by your contract. Just be sure to check it out before signing at any facility that employs unionized nurses. Which states have nursing unions now days? Where would you go to find that out? I'm in Fla....no chance of unions this far south....that's why the high patient ratios, high cost of living and low pay,
  11. by   Finches
    First of all, most nurses who get into Travel Nursing do so because of the "travel" part of it. It's a wonderful way to see the country, and the world for that matter! Being in a contract with a hospital that strikes, and getting called a "scab" by your peers is an unfortunate part of the job that no one tells you about. It's hurtful and sad and unnecessary to be harrassed while going to work. Personally, I would never work at a union hospital because I would never want to be forced to strike. I would NEVER abandon my patients like that-those who do should be ashamed. Ask yourself why you became a nurse in the first place and if the answer is anything except "to take care of people", then you are probably in the wrong career. If you don't like the way you're being treated at a job, go somewhere better, there's no need to round up all your buddies and strike, because the only ones who suffer are the patients, who, it seems have been forgotten in this argument.
  12. by   BULLYDAWGRN
    First of all, most nurses get into travel nursing for all types of different reasons. Wheather you are a scab or not, well thats should be a personal thing you have to decide for yourself. I don't think anyone goes on strike to abandon pts... more so or not they do it to try to get the higher up "bean counters" attention to some nurse/pt safety issue. But then again you may like taking care of 10-12 pts at a time running around like a chicken with head cut off, being told that you've just volunteered for some ot at the end of your 12+ hr shift. And lord forbid you ask for a rinky dink payraise of 3-4% per yr.
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    If there were no such thing as strike replacement workers, wouldn't management have to bargain with union ahead of time ??
    By the same token, Karen, if hospitals couldn't get an ample supply of cheap, obligated foreign nurses by throwing special interest (paid for by hospital concerns) money at Congress, authorizing extra visas,........they would be forced to improve pay and working conditions.

    How much money do you suppose that we as HC consumers pay (via pocket or insurance) pay for hospitals recruiting overseas, arranging for special tests, classes and paperwork for importing nurses.

    But I don't see people treating immigrant nurses as badly as "scabs". We see a great deal of support for them and none for strike breakers. This can be seen easily on this BB.

    ....And I remind everyone that I am antiunion, anti scab and will not work for any agency that actively staffs strikes....I am merely pointing out an idiosyncracy here. I have nothing against immigrant nurses. But they do harm our working conditions and pay (despite laws that "supposedly" protect US nurses' interest), not to mention, robbing their home country of their talents. It also gives them less impetus to affect change at the country of origin.

    I will lay you odds more money gets spent on them than strike nurses, and the importation hurts conditions for HC facility nurses more. It is just more subtle. And they are doing it to better their lot, much like the "scab" does.